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Snowdome snow like sandpaper to my bases - what do you do?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

I've been visiting my local Snowdome (Castleford XScape) and each time I go, afterwards my bases look like they've been sanded and upon next visit my ski's feel like they are not sliding too well, plus the edges appear to have blunted making carving tight turns nigh on impossible without skidding Sad
I'm going to pick up an edge file on my next visit whch I hope will solve my edge problem but was wondering what to do about the bases?
I suppose I could take them in to be waxed every week, but I don't like the idea of the mounting cost and inconvenience of having to take the ski's in.
Is there anything out there I can pop on my bases that is suited to this sandpaper snow?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm amazed the snow is that abrasive. If it's causing that much wear to the bases I can't see that a softer coating of wax is going to help, because it'll be stripped so quickly.

Modern ski bases (made from sintered polyethylene) are actually harder than the extruded polyethylene that used to be used.

The problem you may face here is that the bases will wear to a level that isn't flush with the steel edges, causing a 'railing' effect when turning. I guess the only thing is to accept that the skis are for indoor use only and buy another pair you keep for less abrasive conditions.

Friction and heat have always been problems on plastic slopes, but this is something new to me. I would raise the problem with Xscape - in writing, preferably - and see what they tell you. It would be very interesting if you'd copy their reply on this thread.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rockyrobin, you could try having them waxed with a very hard compound wax usually I think they are for the coldest temps and cost a bit more than the more general waxes, other than that I can't think of anything Sad
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Hi David,

'm thinking the problem may be because the snow is more like ice crystals and very dry perhaps?
Certainly looks and almost feels like white sand! Sad
They also seem to not be bothered about putting snow on the tow uptracks which has some dry slope like matting which if you allow yourself to ride the uplift flat skied in the middle causes loads of friction due to no snow. I now try to ride my edges most of the way up to avoid this part of the track and keep on some snow.
Ski's for indoor snow sounds like a good idea Laughing
Would using the really hard sprinkle and iron on wax used for extreme cold conditions on my bases be of any help?
My ski's are currently being serviced so will take a photo of the bases and over the next few visits will keep a photo record of the deteriation of the bases.
The letter to XScape sounds a good idea. When i've got the photo evidence i'll do that and see what response I get and post on here for everyones perusal Toofy Grin
If anyone else has noticed this problem would love to hear from you with your comments on this.
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Hi D G Orf,

Sounds like your thinking the same as me with the wax. Only thng that made me hesitate on this was the temperature the wax is meant to be used at. The dome has an ambient temperature of -5 degrees I think. I noticed the hard wax you sprinkle and iron on is for -20 degrees and below. Would this cause any problems?
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rockyrobin, I've never skied in a snowdome so I can't comment on the snow there but I have noticed the difference between natural snow and man-made snow. Man-made snow is definitely icier and 'grabs' your skis more. I think DG ORF is on the right lines, using a harder, colder wax should help.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rockyrobin, you've the cart before the horse. The 'cold' wax is designed for use with abrasive crystals and labelled for use at the temperatures where such might occur in nature. All bets are off with artificial snow; the shape of the crystal is more of a function of how much compressed air is used to form it and thus depends on the snow cannon design. Another factor that makes for sharper crystals is when the snow is blown onto the piste directly instead of allowed to settle in heaps before it is spread by grooming.

You shouldn't have any problems at all unless the cold-temperature wax you use is highly fluorinated. Highly fluorinated waxes tend to resist later removal by either the hot-scrape method or solvent method. Wax after each trip.

Graphite or molybdenum additives may help, but (for us at least) 'cold' waxes that have these are a bit more difficult to find than the generic formulation. Given the choice of graphite/moly 'universal' or a regular hydrocarbon 'cold' I'd pick the 'cold' wax.

For the curious: I've never successfully 'stacked' a graphite uni wax underneath a 'cold' wax layer. The heat required by the colder wax generally burns the 'uni' wax or boils it off and the additive then forms cohesive spots underneath the cold wax layer. Very disgusting (and slow!) . Has anyone had success with this?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks guys Smile

Harder wax it is then.
I'll do my best to wear my new wax off this week snowHead
I'm going to try some online waxing equipment purchase retail therapy later tonight Laughing
Will I need to get some solvent and clean all the residue of the softer wax off before applying the hard stuff?
comprex You mention hydrocarbon "cold" wax. Is there anything special I should be looking for or will anything rated at -20 degress or colder do?
Toko show on their site two different wax powders - one for really cold conditions:

X-Cold Powder
Art.Nr. 5509868
A hot wax in a powder form for very cold snow. With special fleece sheets for problem-free application.
optimized for temperature -15 °C and colder
optimized for snow - very cold snow

The other for artificial snow:

JetStream, Old & Artificial Snow Race Powder
Art.Nr. 5509022
100% pure perfluoro carbon wax enriched with molybdenum. The enormous acceleration ratios and the high level of abrasion-resistance are perfectly complimented by the dirt-repellent properties of Molybdenum. Suitable for dirty old and artificial snow.
optimized for temperature 0 °C to -20 °C
optimized for snow - dirty old and artificial snow


Decisions, decisions Laughing Then there's the problem of finding an online source for them. EB and Slush and rubble don't stock either of these Sad
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rockyrobin, if you're using Toko, then System 3 Blue over the entire ski, with X-Cold powder within 2cm of the edges would be my formula. Swix CH07 with CH04 or CH02 powder might work as well. (A nut grater is very handy for reducing bar wax to powder).

The JetStream is exactly the high-fluoro type I would avoid using. (Spendy and hard to remove from the unabraded sections afterwards). (The _per_fluoro bit is also confusing- where is the oxygen?)
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Oh, before I forget, there's really no need for solvent unless you're some sticky alien residue on there (pine needles/sticker adhesive/diesel). Wax with just the cheap wax once, scrape it off hot, then wax again and wait for it to cool off before scraping and brushing.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
rockyrobin, you mentioned taking them in to get waxed - don't bother. It's very easy to do yourself, and much cheaper. There are tons of threads in here about servicing your gear, but all you really need to know for a normal (i.e. not some crazy racing style) wax job is:
- drip wax on base by pressing it against a hot iron
- if the wax is smoking, turn down the temperature of the iron, so that it just melts without smoking
- "massage" the dripped wax into your base with the iron
- let cool for like 15 minutes
- scrape it off with a plastic scraper
- run a brush (steel or nylon) from tip to tail of your skis to get the wax out of the grooves (this step is sort-of-optional, helps with speed, but probably not necessary to just protect your ski bases at all)
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
On an artificial snow slope it's not worth using the brush at the end or putting structure into your skis as both these techniques only really make a difference on proper snow and not ice crystals.

If you can get it and I've not seen it in the UK I think toko do a cold temp very hard race wax it's black but I can't remember off the top of my head what it's make up is, I almost resorted to using it this year in feb due to the very cold temps I was experiencing but in the end decided I didn't need to go any faster Shocked
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Thanks guys Smile

I would have not bothered with the service but its too late now as I took the ski's in last week so probably done now.
Will give me some time this week to get some waxing gear together I guess Smile

comprex - Thanks for the tip on powder waxing the edges only and doing the whole ski with the cheaper wax.

ponder - Thanks for the howto. Printed out and ready to rock and roll Laughing

I forgot to ask - Do I need to remove the old "universal wax" the shop put on with that citrus wax remover?
I was just wondering if popping the harder wax ontop of the softer wax left inside the base would be a good idea?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
D G Orf - I wonder if it is that Jetstream carbon powder race wax mentioned in my earlier post?
I can be very lazy. So even if expensive would be tempted if it meant I could go longer between waxes.
I ski 2 hours a week in the dome so would be very tempted for something long lasting if I thought I could get away with only doing once a month, just wizzing a file over my edges before going.
The thought of doing the wax job once a week is not so appealing when I could be in couch patato mode Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
rockyrobin, no it wasn't a powder it comes in blocks just like the other regular coloured waxes, just went and looked on the toko web site

Dibloc High Fluoro grey, Molybdenum

Art.Nr. 5509206 5500410
A highly fluorinated Race-Wax with a high proportion of Molybdenum. It is especially suitable for artificial and old snow conditions. It is often used as a base wax.

You can use this wax as a base for the Jetstream products

Not to be confused with the Low Flouro version which can be used as a base for their HF range
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rockyrobin, Please let me know how you get on with your waxing solutions as I've recently joined the Lions Ski Club at Castleford & will probably do between 2-4 hours per week & I don't want to screw up the bases on my new B5's.

Next time I'm there (either Sun morning or Mon evening) I'll ask the regulars what their solution is & will advise.

I've never done any home tuning but it looks like I'll have to learn pretty quickly.

BTW, when do you normally ski at Castleford?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
D G Orf, I had a looksee for that wax but this was the closest I could find:-

All-in-one Wax Molybdenum
Art.Nr. 5509771
This molybdenum-enriched universal wax improves gliding properties and contributes to the renewal of graphite bases. Can be used for all types of snow and temperatures.
PROPERTIES
weight 60g
optimized for temperature:
0 °C to -30 °C
optimized for snow:
all types of snow

Slush and rubble are selling this stuff off cheap. Would this be suitable just plastered on on its own?
Trying to keep things simple to preserve couch slouching time Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Datawax (www.datawax.com) do a plastic slope wax, which should be OK for artificial snow use.
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spyderjon, Thanks for the offer to help gather info from the regulars.
I ski on my own and don't know anyone else who ski's there regularly so would appreciate the feedback.
I've asked the staff but they don't appear to be interested.
I'll let you know how I get on over the next few weeks.
Usually I go for a slide midweek in the morning/early afternoon.
Do you find it very busy in the evenings? I've always avoided that time as when i've been there when its been busy its been a tad too much with people charging down as fast as they can making it a bit dangerous for technique practice Sad
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davidb, Thanks for the linky. One for the bookmarks for sure Smile
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rockyrobin, Have only done one Mon evening 7.30 to 9.30 session which was the race training session with the Lions. Slope was very quiet, maybe 30 users in total.
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spyderjon, Thats not too bad I guess. Maybe one day i'll give it a try in the evening if they start doing special offers on two hour sessions.
Currently looking at probably doing over £800/annum at Castleford. If I was doing it in the evenings I think I would have to cut down my hours Sad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rockyrobin, If you want to save some serious cash then join The Lions Ski Club (www.lions-skiclub.co.uk).

They meet there on Sunday mornings from 8.00am to 10.00am (they have sole use of the slope for the first hour) & Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm for race training & ASSI instructor training. I've been going for a couple of weeks (although not this morning as it was a pretty heavy night last night & the Nurofen hasn't kicked in yet!) & they're a very friendly bunch.

Membership is only £25 per year & each two hour session is only £16 including free coaching if you want/need it & any hire gear from Xscape. That's a huge saving on Xscape's regular cost & it's stll a big saving if you claim SCGB memebership discount off Xscape.

They also offer a visitors price of £20 to enable you to see the set-up etc, although you can only go once at this rate before you have to join.
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spyderjon, Thanks for the Lions club info Smile
With me being stuck with daytime midweek for my spare time skiing sessions I would not be able to make use of it sadly Sad
If my circumstances change will definately look at joining up.
In the meantime will have to make do with skiing as "billy no mates" Laughing

Cheers,

Chris snowHead
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rockyrobin, I spoke to the Lions guys re waxes etc. They all seem to use/swear by either 'CH4' or, for even more protection, some very hard grey wax that EB at Castleford sells - but unfortunately nobody could remember it's actual name. Sorry but never thought to ask who makes the CH4 wax either.

Most, but not all agree with you re the wearing qualities of the Xscape snow. Apparently the best snow for min wear is on Sunday mornings as the snow is topped up on Sat nights. It then apparently gets worse as the week progresses. Those that don't agree with you seem do a fair bit of dry slope skiing & so understandably thought that the Xscape snow was superb!

BTW, I've had a close look at the bases of my new B5's. They had 12 hours use at Xscape & each ski has a patch of 'light grey' about 30cm long across the width of the ski, directly underfoot which I assume indicates wear/heat build-up & the edges are getting a bit dull. It look like mine will need a tune PDQ.

Hope this helps.
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spyderjon, Thanks for asking the guys in the Lions club for us Smile
Sounds like your ski's are fairing better than mine. My ski's are Metron M9's, and after 4 hours the bases are scratched light grey like yours from tip to tail!
I did a fortnight in Scotland earlier this year and the wear with same wax was just like yours for the whole fortnight so when I saw the dome snow's effect did get me wondering.
Only thing I can think of is the softness of these ski's is causing this or the wax that they get when serviced is too soft for artificial snow.
Oh well, i've got some of that hard wax for dry slopes coming from Datawax linked above, and some ironing gear, so hopefully my whining will be short lived Laughing
EIther that or i'll be whining about burning my bases Laughing
When I get a chance to pop that new wax on i'll pop a post up with my experience with it on the dome snow.

Cheers Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
spyderjon, CH04 is Swix' green hydrocarbon wax.

rockyrobin, make sure that wax scraper is very sharp; you may want to get some polishing cloth like Fiberlene to get the existing ptex hairs off. It is a good idea to wear an apron- the hard waxes tend to splatter off the base more than the soft ones.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
comprex, Thanks for the tips Smile
I could imagine that hard wax being a batch to get off clothes if it gets in the weave Sad
I'm curious about the Fiberlene - I've never seen this in the UK, though I don't like shopping so may have just avoided it. If not available in the UK can we get anything similar over here?
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You know it makes sense.
rockyrobin, Fibertex is what I meant, sorry, Fiberlene is something else entirely.

I use abrasive wood polishing pads in the grey (before waxing) and white (final polish after waxing) grades. That might be easier to find?

Getting wax out of the weave is difficult, but one notices that each droplet carries more heat than water at the same temperature much sooner. wink Shocked
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
comprex, I think we call those pads Scotchbrite.
Bit like a brillo pad i presume but in finer grades.
I'll keep an eye out for them next time I go round the DIY store.
Thanks Smile
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